James Brunton Stephens

(17 June 1835 – 29 June 1902 / Borrowstounness, on the Firth of Forth, Scotland;)

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Night


Hark how the tremulous night-wind is passing in joy-laden sighs;
Soft through my window it comes, like the fanning of pinions angelic,
   Whispering to cease from myself, and look out on the infinite skies.

Out on the orb-studded night, and the crescent effulgence of Dian;
   Out on the far-gleaming star-dust that marks where the angels have trod;
Out on the gem-pointed Cross, and the glittering pomp of Orion,
   Flaming in measureless azure, the coronal jewels of God;

Luminous streams of delight in the silent immensity flowing,
   Journeying surgelessly on through impalpable ethers of peace.
How can I think of myself when infinitude o'er me is glowing,
   Glowing with tokens of love from the land where my sorrows shall cease?

Oh, summer-night of the South! Oh, sweet languor of zephyrs love-sighing!
   Oh, mighty circuit of shadowy solitude, holy and still!
Music scarce audible, echo-less harmony joyously dying,
   Dying in faint suspirations o'er meadow, and forest, and hill!

I must go forth and be part of it, part of the night and its gladness.
   But a few steps, and I pause on the marge of the shining lagoon.
Here then, at length, I have rest; and I lay down my burden of sadness,
   Kneeling alone 'neath the stars and the silvery arc of the moon.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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